If you have a burning question about the rules of petanque or if something happens in a game which you don’t know how to resolve, our National Umpire, Monty, is the man to help. We’ve set up a new ‘Ask Monty’ page where you can email him questions. The good ones might even get a mention on the site!
Good luck to the team from Fochabers PC who travel today to Saarbrucken, Germany, to represent Scotland in the EuroCup for Clubs. They are up against club teams from Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The weekend of 11/12 July saw the SPA formally celebrate our 30th Anniversary in Fochabers.
The weekend started on Saturday afternoon with Fochabers PC hosting the ‘Summer Fling’ – a friendly open competition. As well as many of the usual players we were delighted to find players from nearby Portknockie joined in too. With play starting at 1.30, the 14 teams were divided into leagues (2 leagues of 4 and 2 leagues of 3). The top two from each league would play in the main knockout while the others would thrash it out for the plate. Games were limited to 11 points so all the matches could be squeezed in in time for everyone to get ready for the evening celebrations. Winners of the main were Robbie and Emma.
On Saturday evening, 30 players (shame it wasn’t more) were greeted to a glass of fizz and sat down to a sumptuous dinner in the Gordon Arms. The SPA would like to say a big thank you to all who contributed the vast table of memorabilia, with photos, newspaper cuttings and other papers from days gone by. It was an evening to reminisce and reflect on the contribution of all of those volunteers who, over the years, having given much their spare time to further the SPA’s cause, as well as to remember those who are no longer with us. Much merriment was had and the conversations went on in to the wee hours.
On to the Triples on Sunday morning. With a few sore heads, 8 teams registered to play. The format would be a round robin of 7 rounds, with games played to 11 points. Play was brisk and, although play started at 9.45, 4 rounds were fully complete before lunch at 1 o’clock. At this point, the Sex Pisteols were out in the lead having won all their games in the morning, with five teams two games adrift. As usual we were treated to a feast at lunch, Lasagne this time, along with sandwiches and home baking.
Play finished not long after 4 pm and, in the end, the Sex Pisteols – Robbie, Derek & Colin – hung on to win with 6 wins from 7. In second were last year’s winners Lynn, Shirley and Richard (this year playing under their usual name of Pretty Vacant) on 5 wins and third were Les Champignons – Emma, Mags and Monty – with 4 wins and better points difference.
A huge thank you to Fochabers PC for hosting and in particular to Shirley Legge for organising the whole weekend – the Summer Fling, prizes, dinner, decorating the hall, collecting memorabilia etc etc etc.
The final Grand Prix of 2015 was contested by 16 teams at Inverleith Petanque Club on 21 June. A number of teams were in with a chance of winning the Grand Prix Series and with places at the Scottish Masters and 2016 Home Nations up for grabs, it was all to play for.
The top 3 ranked teams after Grand Prix 2, Sex Pisteols, Triaxle and Pretty Vacant looked like they might battle it out for the Series title and at lunch, after 3 rounds, the Sex Pisteols and Triaxle had three wins while Pretty Vacant had two.
The fourth round saw Triaxle and the Sex Pisteols paired together by the Swiss draw – it was becoming increasingly likely that this would be the Grand Prix Series decider. The Sex Pisteols prevailed and, despite losing to Pretty Vacant in round five, secured Grand Prix 3 and the Grand Prix Series. Round six saw Triaxle paired against Pretty Vacant, the winners would take second place while the losers would have to settle for 3rd. Pretty Vacant took the win to secure 2nd place in the Grand Prix and 3rd in the Series, while Triaxle took 3rd place and 2nd place respectively.
The top 12 teams will be invited to compete in the SPA Masters at Perth in September and the top 8 will represent Scotland at the 2016 Home Nations, which will be hosted by the SPA.
Well done to all the qualifiers and commiserations to those who didn’t manage it this time.
Sixteen teams competed for the second Grand Prix of the season, hosted by Troon PC, on Sunday 24 May. As ever, the hospitality at Troon was superb and the palyers were treated to breakfast rolls and lunch of baked tatties and home baking.
By lunch, two teams emerged in contention – Triaxle (having lost only 8 points all morning) and Scottish Wildcats – both on 3 wins, with a number of teams following closely behind on two wins. They would play each other and a resounding win for Triaxle put them in pole position to win.
Round 6 saw Triaxle drawn against the Sex Pisteols. Triaxle knew a win would seal the victory, while there was an outside chance that the Sex Pisteols could pip them on points difference with a big win. Triaxle continued their strong play and emerged comfortable 13-8 winners. The Scottish Wilcats finished second, having won all but their game against Triaxle and the Sex Pisteols were third on 4 wins.
The 27th Celtic Challenge was once again a memorable affair, held at Frankfield Petanque Club in Cork on the 2nd and 3rd of May 2015.
The players arrived at Frankfield house on Friday evening to a friendly welcome with a homemade curry before being handed an array of goodies and enjoying the local ales whilst catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. Practise was sadly off the cards on Friday night due to the dank dreary conditions.
We arrived at the piste on Saturday morning to a warm welcome from the Lord Mayor of Cork and the torrential rain! Rain aside, play commenced at 9.30 with Scotland battling against Wales and Ireland A and B against each other. After the morning Rounds Wales were edging ahead with 7 wins to our 5. We had a little more to do in the afternoon.
We ended play on day 1 with 13 wins out of a possible 24 with Ireland B also on 13 wins, and Wales and Ireland A on 11 wins each. Going in to day 2 it was all to play for. The top team going in to Sunday were Pretty Vacant as Scotland 3 on 6 out of a possible 6 with + 67.
Day 2 started a little less wet than Saturday but that wasn’t to last and with several references made to Fochabers last year with the flooded piste, there was a definite sense of déjà vu in the air!
Scotland Started out Sunday morning with 9 out of 12 wins which saw us edge up to 22 wins + 66, jumping ahead of Wales in second place with 18 wins and then Ireland A and B battling for 3rd place it was very exciting going in to round 10!
Round 10 was the round of the weekend where all our teams won their games and saw us jump up to 26 wins + 92, a very credible score which sealed the win for us! The focus then turned to Triaxle as Scotland 2 with 5 out of 6 wins on day 1 and by the end of round 10 saw them edge up to 9 wins. They had 2 more games to make be the clear cut best team of the weekend, which they duly did with a score of 11 out of 12 wins + 55. The second best team of the weekend overall were Scotland 3 with 9 wins +67.
Retaining both the Celtic Challenge Trophy and the Best Team Shield for a second year in a row was a real treat and put a ray of sunshine on what was a very wet weekend.
Final Placings were Scotland with 32 wins +129 Wales 25 wins + 35 Ireland B 20 wins – 96 and Ireland A 19 wins -66
The SPA would like to thank Frankfield Petanque Club and the Irish Petanque Association and their dedicated volunteers for assisting us during the weekend and making it another memorable trip to the Celtic Challenge. We look forward to 2016 in Wales, where we can do it all over again and Scotland can begin their hat-trick campaign.
This weekend sees the Celtic Challenge return to Cork and we look forward to renewing our friendship with the Irish and Welsh teams and supporters. The four Scotland teams are:
Scotland 1 – Derek Adam, Istvan Poka, Colin Stewart
Scotland 2 – Jimmy Johnstone, Kevin Johnstone, Paul Fletcher
Scotland 3 – Richard Carter, John Wilson, Robbie Stronach
Scotland 4 – John Watson, Emma Montgomery, Mags Montgomery
The teams will be looking to put in a strong performance and retain the title, having won it on 3 of the last 4 occasions. We will try to keep you updated throughout the weekend with the state of play.
The timings for the coaching weekend on 9th/10th May at Inverleith are as follows:
Saturday (aimed at competition players and coaches): 2pm-5pm approx.
Sunday (aimed at club players): 10am to 1pm. Lunch will be served from 1pm. After lunch we will organise some friendly games.
Do come along if you can. It’s free to take part.
Fifteen teams registered for the first Grand Prix of the 2015 Season, held at Fochabers Petanque Club on Sunday 19th April. On a chilly day, the tea and coffee pots were very popular and we were treated to a hearty chilli-con-carne for lunch. Very many thanks to all the volunteers at Fochabers PC for making us all so welcome and for keeping us warm!
With 6 rounds of timed games to play under the Swiss Ladder system once more, it would be a packed day although sadly for some, because of the odd number of teams, byes were required.
In the end, the Sex Pisteols (Derek Adam, John Wilson, Robbie Stronach and Colin Stewart) came out on top with 5 wins and superior points difference. Les Champignons (John Watson and Mags, Emma and Colin Montgomery) were second, also with 5 wins. Pretty Vacant (Lynn Jenkins, Shirley Legge and Richard Carter) were third.
With a great deal of sadness, we report the passing of Robin Gardiner yesterday. Robin’s dedication to Troon Petanque Club was considerable and he made a lasting contribution as former President and twenty years service on the committee. He was a regular player both at his home club and on the Scottish scene and represented Scotland at international level on several occasions.
Robin was a larger than life character, always at the heart of the banter and his loss will be sorely felt by many. Our thoughts and sympathies go to Annie, the rest of the family and all of his friends at Troon PC.